Whole house water filter vs Softener

Clover Dane

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Whole house water filter vs. Softener

All sources of water, including tap, have numerous contaminants. If your house is near industrial areas, there is a higher chance of the presence of chromium-6. This contaminant is harmful to drinking. Besides, many impurities are bad for drinking. In particular, bottled water is a good option, but it is too expensive for daily use. The alternative ways are to utilize a filtration system and a softener. Here, you will learn about them. The whole house water filter vs Softener is a popular comparison. 

Both of them are amazing in providing good results. But there are differences in their working. You have to consider your needs and then choose the unit. We will tell you complete information about them. So, you will easily select the best one for your household use.

What is water softening?

Hard water has numerous elements such as calcium, magnesium, etc. They consider strong hard minerals. It has strong drawbacks. When you use it during the bath, your hair will become damaged. Moreover, it makes it challenging to make lather when cleaning hands or face. These minerals also make your pots look foggy. They also slow down the flow rate.

The Softener’s task is to remove all those minerals. Thereby, you will save yourself from such problems. It has effective beads that utilize the filtration media of sodium chloride ions. When water moves through the Softener, the media will convert all minerals into sodium ions. The quantity of such ions is lower, so you will never feel the salty taste.

Requirement of a softener

You will know if you will require this softening product or not with the knowledge of your source. Some countries or cities are with a high concentration of the hard level. When you get the water test, you will exactly understand its quality. If the hard level is extra, you have to use the Softener. Otherwise, you may face some issues.


The installation costs are different for every model. But, most of the softeners are with the cost $800-$3000. The money also depends on the type of the unit. The size of your house is also important. It is an effective method to get high-quality results.

What is a whole house filter?

Always remember that there are numerous kinds of contaminants. This system enables the eradication of all pollutants & contaminants. If you only use Softener without this system, your water still contains all harmful substances. They include bacteria and heavy metals. It has to treat properly always to get good quality results of filtration.

In general, you should use it in all sorts of sources. The reason is that every source has such contaminants. There are different types of filters. Some are suitable for refrigerators, and some are specific only for under-sink. No doubt, they all are good in their action. But, if you need the filtered water for the complete house, you should use this system.

Working on this filtration

This filtration system is a unique phenomenon of working. There are several stages in this system. The first stage is the pre-filter. The water passes from this filter, and it removes all large impurities. It also reduces the level of sediments. In addition, this stage filters out chlorine & chemicals. The chemicals have a bad effect on health and air quality.

After passing from the pre-filter, the next stage is the presence of activated carbon. The activated carbon is more efficient to eliminate herbicides, pesticides, etc. Then, water moves towards the final phase of filtration. This polishing filtration makes sure that there is no chance of the presence of any sediment or particle.

System’s cost

The contaminants have negative effects on the human body’s health. This system can efficiently remove them. The cost is an essential factor that you have to consider when buying. Thus, it will never disturb your budget. It is easily available everywhere. The overall cost is between $1000-and $2300. In particular, it is a little expensive model if you need a professional for installation. This cost is from 200 dollars to 900 dollars.

Is a filter better than a softener?

The filters are great if your main focus is to reduce contaminants. In this case, they are better than softeners. When you install this system, you drink the best filtration output free from contaminants & chemicals.

The major advantage of this unit is that it provides a clear outcome to the complete house. In particular, you will get it in all portions of your house. This excellent unit is great for larger families. It fulfills the needs of every family member. Besides good quality, it ensures a good flow rate. You will not need to wait much to get the filtration outcome.

Choosing a System

The softeners consider the best purification units. There are many drawbacks to using hard water that causes many problems. In this way, this unit protects you from different harmful problems.

On the opposite side, if your major issue is the presence of chlorination and other contaminants, you have to use a filter. Bacterial contamination is bad for human health. It creates many problems in children also. This sort of drinking is not healthier. Sometimes, the source also has iron that should remove. Iron is toxic for normal development of the body. Thus, this unit is outstanding.

Many homeowners want to install both of these systems in their houses. The reason is that they want more exceptional quality of the filtration. You will get more coverage of filtered results if you also do it. However, if you will only install the filter, you will also enable to get a good experience. It is not only efficient but with a longer lifespan.

You can use it for numerous years without changing the system. This affordable unit meets all your drinking and other household needs. Indeed, it is a healthier investment suitable for your entire family.

Combine both of these units

The combination of both of these units is to ensure the maximum high-quality results of filtration. With this solution, the outcome is with the less hard minerals. Such minerals decrease the lifespan of the filter and all plumbing systems. Therefore, the system will work longer when attaching a softener to it. In this way, you will get a pure & clean outcome. This step ensures your health and your family’s health.

Table comparison

This table shows you some major differences in these units. They are different from many perspectives. With this comparison table, you will choose the best system that is great for your house. Both come with a warranty that gives you a feeling of satisfactory use.

Whole house water filterSoftener
Media Pre-filter, activated carbon, and polishing phaseSodium chloride ions
Cost $1,000 to $2,300 $800 to $3000 
CertificationsNSF, ANSIWQA, NSF 
Warranty 1 year limited warranty 1-3 year warranty 
Lifespan Six to twelve months Two to ten years 


What is the difference between a softener and a whole house filter?

The main purpose of softeners is to remove all minerals that cause the hardness in the water. It also enables to stop the creation of scaling. On the other hand, the whole house filter is to eliminate all toxic contaminants. In this way, you will have safe filtration results for all families.

Do I need a filter if I have a softener?

It mainly depends on what kind of source you used in your house. The softeners will never filter out different contaminants. Their primary focus is on the removal of hard minerals. However, if your source is with high amount of contaminants, you will need to use the great filter.

Should I have a filter before or after Softener?

The best way of installing filters is after the softeners. This way protects your system and works for a longer duration. Many times, the mud will disturb the performance of the Softener. In this scenario, the filter will attach before the Softener.

Is filtered water the same as soft water?

They both are opposite in their qualities. The filters do not eliminate the hard minerals. Therefore, they will never produce a soft filtration outcome. Besides, they reduce chemicals & contaminants. They also remove pollutants to ensure great quality.

Final thoughts

Some people may confuse the selection of the right system for their houses. The only ideal way is to consider the appropriate treatment. It all depends on your desire that what sorts of contaminants should remove. For instance, if your family deals a lot with dry skin, you must buy a softener. The Softener will remove all hard minerals and gives you the best results.

On the other hand, if someone is experiencing a bad taste of water, he should use a whole house filtration system. This system removes all the worst contaminants as well as chlorine. It ensures to provide you bad smell-free filtration results. In another case, if you face both of these situations. You can use both of these units together.